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THE life of man upon earth is a warfare, and his days are like the days of a hireling.

Ver. 1.  Warfare.  Heb. "is it not determined" (H.) for some short space, as the Levites had to serve from 30 to 50 years of age; (Num. iv. 3. and viii. 25.) and the days of a hireling are also defined and short.  Isai. xvi. 14.  Amama.


--- No soldier or hireling was ever treated so severely as Job.  Yet they justly look for the term of their labours.  Sept. have peirathrion.  Old Vulg. tentatio.  "Is not the life of man a temptation?"  C.


--- Palæstra, school, or time given to learn the exercise of a soldier and wrestler; or of one who has to prepare himself for a spiritual warfare, and for heaven.  H.


--- Are we not surrounded with dangers? and may we not desire to be set at liberty?  The Vulg. is very accurate, (C.) and includes all these senses.  H.


--- A soldier must be obedient even unto death, and never resist his superior.  W.


--- Hireling, who has no rest till the day is spent.  C.


2 As a servant longeth for the shade, as the hireling looketh for the end of his work; 3 So I also have had empty months, and have numbered to myself wearisome nights.

Ver. 3.  And have.  Heb. "they have appointed for me."  C.


--- God treats me with more severity, as even the night is not a time of rest for me, and my months of service are without any present recompense.  H.

4 If I lie down to sleep, I shall say: When shall arise? and again I shall look for the evening, and shall be filled with sorrows even till darkness.

Ver. 4.  And again.  Heb. "and the night be completed, I toss to and fro," (H.) or "I am disturbed with dreams, (C.) till day break."  Vulg. insinuates that  night and day are equally restless to a man in extreme pain.  H.


--- As I find no comfort, why may I not desire to die?  M.


--- I desire to be dissolved, as being much better, said S. Paul.

5 My flesh is clothed with rottenness and the filth of dust, my skin is withered and drawn together. 6 My days have passed more swiftly than the web is cut by the weaver, and are consumed without any hope.

Ver. 6.  Web.  Heb. "the weaver's shuttle."  C. xvi. 23.  Isa. xxxviii. 12.  H.


--- The pagans have used the same comparison.  But they make the three daughters of Necessity guide the thread of life.  Plato Rep. xii.  Natal. iii. 6.


--- Sept. "my life is swifter than speech."  Tetrapla, "than a runner."  C.


--- Hope.  Heu fugit, &c.  Ah! time is flying , never to return!  H.

7 Remember that my life is but wind, and my eyes shall not return to see good things.

Ver. 7.  Wind.  What is life compared with eternity, or even with past ages?  C.


--- "What is any one?  Yea, what is no one?  Men are the dream of a shadow," says Pindar; (Pyth. viii.  SkiaV onar onqrwpoi) "like the baseless fabric of a vision." Shakespeare.

8 Nor shall the sight of man behold me: thy eyes are upon me, and I shall be no more.

Ver. 8.  Eyes, in anger, (C.) or thy mercy will come too late when I shall be no more.

9 As a cloud is consumed, and passeth away: so he that shall go down to hell shall not come up.

Ver. 9.  Hell, or the grave.  M.


--- He was convinced of the resurrection.  But he meant that, according to the natural course, we can have no means of returning to this world after we are dead.

10 Nor shall he return my more into his house, neither shall his place know him any more.

Ver. 10.  More.  This may be explained both of the soul and of the body.  Ps. cii. 16.  The former resides in the body for a short time, and then seems to take no farther notice of it (C.) till the resurrection.

11 Wherefore I will not spare my month, I will speak in the affliction of my spirit: I will talk with the bitterness of my soul.

Ver. 11.  Mouth.  I will vent my bitter complaints before I die.  H.

12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou hast enclosed me in a prison?

Ver. 12.  Sea.  Ungovernable and malicious.  Some of the ancients looked upon the sea as a huge animal, whose breathing caused the tides.  Strabo i.  Solin xxxii.


---  They represented its fury as proverbial.  "Fire, the sea, and woman are three evils;" and they call the most savage people sons of Neptune.  Agel. xv. 21.


--- Am I so violent as to require such barriers?  Am I capacious, or strong enough to bear such treatment?  C.

13 If I say: My bed shall comfort me, and I shall be relieved speaking with myself on my couch: 14 Thou wilt frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions. 15 So that my soul rather chooseth hanging, and my bones death.

Ver. 15.  Hanging.  Prot. "strangling and death, rather than my life," or Marg. "bones."  H.


--- Any species of Death would be preferable to this misery.  C.


--- Who would not entertain the same sentiments, if the fear of worse in the other world did not withhold him?  But Job had reason to hope that his sorrows would end with his life.  H.


--- It is thought that he was dreadfully tempted to despair.  C.


--- Yet he resisted manfully, and overcame all attempts of the wicked one.

16 I have done with hope, I shall now live no longer: spare me, for my days are nothing.

Ver. 16.  Hope of surviving this misery.  H.

17 What is a man that thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost thou set thy heart upon him?

Ver. 17.  Magnify him, or put his to such severe trials.  He is not worthy of thy attention.  C.


--- Heb. ii. 6.  H.

18 Thou visitest him early in the morning, and thou provest him suddenly.

Ver. 18.  Suddenly.  During his whole life, he is exposed to dangers; (C.) of if, at first, he taste some comfort, that is presently over.  The greatest saints have experienced this treatment.  H.

19 How long wilt thou not spare me, nor suffer me to swallow down my spittle? 20 I have sinned: what shall I do to thee, O keeper of men? why hast thou set me opposite to thee, and I am become burdensome to myself?

Ver. 20.  Sinned.  I acknowledge my frailty.  M.


--- How may I obtain redress?  C.


--- Job's friends maintained that he was guilty.  But he does not acquiesce in their conclusion, that these sufferings were precisely in punishment of some crime, though he acknowledges that he is not without his faults.  H.


--- Shall.  Heb. also, "what have I done to thee?"  I have only hurt myself.  But this reasoning is nugatory.  Though God loses nothing by our sins, they are not less offensive to him, as the rebel does his utmost to disturb the order which he has established.  The sinner indeed resembles those brutal people, who hurl darts against the sun, which fall upon their own heads.  C. iii. 8.  C.


--- Opposite, as a butt to shoot at.  H.


--- Myself.  Heb. was formerly "to thee," till the Jews changed it, as less respectful.  Cajet.


--- Sept. still read, "and why am I a burden to thee?" (H.) as I am under the necessity of complaining, in my own defence.  C.


--- I throw my grief upon the Lord, that He may support me.  Ps. liv. 23.  1 Pet. v. 7.  Pineda.

21 Why dost thou not remove my sin, and why dost thou not take away my iniquity? Behold now I shall sleep in the dust: and if thou seek me in the morning, I shall not be.

Ver. 21.  Be.  He lovingly expostulates with God, and begs that he would hasten his deliverance, lest it should be too late.  C.

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